Chelsea to sacrifice N'Golo Kante for Kai Havertz, Paul Pogba returns for Manchester United and Sheffield United could take legal action over 'ghost goal'. It's Friday's Paper Round...
Kante out, Havertz in
Chelsea are willing to sell N'Golo Kante to raise funds to sign the highly-rated Kai Havertz this summer. The Blues have already confirmed the summer signings of both Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner but a report from the Times reveals that Chelsea aren't done shopping just yet. Havertz is said to be wanted by Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Liverpool but Chelsea believe they can pip their rivals to the signing due to a financial advantage. The west London club are willing to sacrifice N'Golo Kante - who has been a long-term target of Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid - to ensure they have the funds to sign the £90-million rated German wonderkid.
Paper Round's view: N'Golo Kante is a world-class footballer - but this isn't actually the worst idea. The World Cup winner will turn 30 next season and Real Madrid are still willing to pay a huge fee for Kante. The Frenchman hasn't really found his form so far this season under Frank Lampard and there have been question marks over his ability to adapt to the Blues boss' tactical system. Kante's exit would probably mean Chelsea need to sign a new box-to-box midfielder... or find an internal replacement in their squad (Billy Gilmour or Ruben Loftus-Cheek?). The deal could be worth it if it ends up with Chelsea beating their big-name rivals to the signing of Havertz - who has lit the Bundesliga up over the past two seasons.
Staying with Chelsea and their pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz, the Express report that the west London outfit have moved ahead of rivals Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. As previously stated, Chelsea have a financial advantage - which is mainly a result of their transfer ban last summer. However, the Express state that Stamford Bridge has become the likely destination for Havertz for other reasons. Real Madrid want to wait until the summer of 2021, while Bayern are prioritising the transfer of Leroy Sane from Manchester City - meaning Chelsea are free to sign Havertz this summer without serious competition.
Paper Round's view: This will be music to the ears of Chelsea fans and their manager Frank Lampard. Knowing that Real Madrid are willing to step back from the chase and Bayern Munich are too busy with another transfer means Chelsea are free to make their pitch to Havertz. The Blues will definitely be a force next season - having already brought in Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and Havertz's compatriot Timo Werner from RB Leipzig. If Chelsea manage to add the Bayer Leverkusen forward to their squad, they could genuinely challenge for the Premier League title.
Paul Pogba will return to the Manchester United squad for Friday's clash against Tottenham Hotspur - but there's no space for him in the starting XI as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aims to "protect" him for the intense upcoming run of Premier League fixtures. The Red Devils travel to north London to face Spurs in their first match since March and Pogba will take his place on the United bench. The World Cup winner has been limited to just eight appearances this season - the last coming on Boxing Day against Newcastle - and he underwent ankle surgery back in January. Solskjaer will reportedly stick with his midfield combination of Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Nemanja Matic for Friday's away fixture.
Paper Round's view: It makes complete sense for Solskjaer to slowly re-introduce Pogba back to first-team football. We saw Arsenal suffer two early injuries against Manchester City on Wednesday - which may be a result of the lack of Premier League football over the past few months due to the coronavirus pandemic - and the United boss is simply protecting the Frenchman. The games will start to come thick and fast meaning rotation will eventually happen. So don't worry United fans - we will see Pogba link up with Fernandes soon enough!
Blades ‘will have legal case’ if miss out on Europe
According to the Telegraph, Sheffield United have been told that they will have a legal case against the Premier League and Hawk-Eye if the club misses out on European football. The Blades saw their "ghost goal" denied in Wednesday's 0-0 draw against Aston Villa due to the faulty goal-decision system, which has effectively taken two points away from them - if they were to hold out and eventually win the match. Sports lawyer Nick De Marco QC told the Telegraph that Sheffield United and any clubs that finish below Villa in the relegation battle would legally have a "good claim" due to the "failed" technology and the sheer amount of money at stake if clubs are affected by the faulty system.
Paper Round's view: It's crazy that these mistakes are still happening in the Premier League in 2020. The league must pile so much money into the technology. Hawk-Eye have confirmed that they never had an issue with the goal-line technology in more than 9,000 matches - but VAR is still there to help correct any errors. Surely VAR could've been quickly used to confirm to referee Michael Oliver that the ball clearly went over the line and the problem would've been immediately resolved. Now this incident will be mentioned again and again if Sheffield United or any relegated sides are affected... and we don't even know if the Blades would've gone on to win the match on Wednesday.